(KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese government dismissed an talk of strained relations with Egypt as a result of president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir attending the emergency Doha meeting on the Gaza conflict held last week.

“There is no negative impact from our participation in the Qatar summit” spokesperson of Sudan foreign ministry Ali Al-Sadiq told reporters.

“Relations between Cairo and Khartoum are deeper than brief disagreements. Things should not be calculated in terms of winning or losing” he said.

The Qatari summit held to discuss the Israeli assault on Gaza strip was boycotted Arab heavyweight by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Yesterday the editor in Chief of Al-Ahram Osama Saraya who is considered close to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak described the summit as a “comic play”.

“It was attended by five Arab presidents and the host Emir and a military ruler trying to find a legitimate adjustment to his miserable situation. They represent nothing to the Arab people torn at to what is happening to their brothers in Gaza” he wrote in his editorial.

“President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir attended at a time when he is facing arrest in 108 countries for allegations of committing genocide in Darfur” Saraya said.

But Al-Sadiq suggested that the Egyptian stance on the ICC indictment of Bashir will not change despite anger by Cairo on attending the summit.

“The differences between Arab countries do not mean that they will cancel their position on the major issues” he stressed.

Egyptians have voiced support to Al-Bashir and criticized the ICC move saying it will damage peace efforts in the region.

However following a brief visit by the Egyptian president to Khartoum last November relations between the two countries appeared to have been silently strained for unknown reasons.

Some Sudanese political analysts told Sudan Tribune that Mubarak warned Al-Bashir in their private meeting about an imminent ICC decision and advised him to step down to avert an Iraq style scenario.

Shortly afterwards an Egyptian official warned Sudan that its stance on the ICC is “weak” and will not protect Al-Bashir from prosecution.

The ICC prosecutor is scheduled to visit Cairo in February for meetings with Egyptian and Arab League officials despite protests by some lawmakers.


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